29 May 2007 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is on his way to Berlin to attend Wednesday’s high-level meeting of the Middle East Quartet, the international diplomatic grouping trying to advance the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
The talks in the German capital will take place at a time of mounting concern at the situation in the region after a wave of deadly violence involving intra-Palestinian clashes, Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli military operations.
“The Quartet meeting comes at a timely juncture to review recent developments in Gaza and in Israel,” Mr. Ban spokesperson Michele Montas told journalists today. “The Secretary-General hopes that this meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss the way ahead for a definition of a political horizon in the Middle East peace process.”
The Quartet – which brings together the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States – has called repeatedly in the past for Israel and the Palestinians to follow the Road Map, which lays out mutual steps to achieve a two-State solution to the conflict, with Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace.
In addition to Mr. Ban, the Berlin meeting is expected to be attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, European Commission External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU High Representative for Common Security and Foreign Policy Javier Solana and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU.